Qualcomm builds superfast modems to bring better Mobile VR experiences. The new Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is capable of reaching download speeds up to 1 Gbps.
Virtual reality brings a unique experience for consuming visual content like no other medium. Viewers can totally immerse themselves in different places, or situations they haven’t been into before. But everything comes with a cost. Higher quality of visual content needs higher data speeds to be transferred over the internet.
At the 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong today, Qualcomm announced a joint project with Telstra, Ericsson and Netgear on the world’s first commercial LTE device Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, capable of reaching download speeds up to 1 Gbps.
Higher data speeds mean better VR experiences for mobile devices
Gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity removes the barrier of bandwith and enables use cases like bringing high quality 360-degree videos for both smartphone and VR consumption. Such high level connectivity is also considered as a key component that paves the way for 5G technology — speeds up to 10 gigabits per second.
According to Qualcomm’s simulations of a Gigabit Class LTE network, with the new technology LTE speeds could be as high as 533 Mbps. Ookla’s Speedtest Market Report claims the average mobile Internet download speed in the United States was around 19.61 Mbps as of August 2016.
Qualcomm’s Sheriff Hanna says “when we cross over 100 Mbps and get as high as 500 Mbps in real-world speeds, it could be faster to retrieve a file from the cloud rather than open it from local storage. That changes how developers think about the role that the cloud backend plays in their app or service.”
As an example on how higher data speeds could affect the future of Mobile VR connectivity; a 360-degree video at 4K resolution with 30 fps requires ~45 Mbps for a decent viewing experience. The data rate requirement goes up to ~68 Mbps for 60 fps, and up to an estimated ~103 Mbps for 120 fps.
Qualcomm says currently only 64 percent of carriers in the world can implement such speeds.
Gigabit Class LTE capable smartphones due in 2017
Qualcomm has also announced that gigabit-class X16 modems will be integrated into the next generation 800-tier Snapdragon processors. These Gigabit Class LTE capable smartphones are anticipated to be available in 2017.